Business in the UK’s freight shipping industry has been booming over recent months. The port of Belfast is experiencing one of the busiest periods in its 400 year history. And now figures from the country’s leading sea freight lines show that freight shipping volumes increased by 8% between 2004 and 2005.

The Reasons for the Increase in Freight Shipping Volumes

The greatest freight shipping growth area has been on Irish sea routes. In this area volumes increased by 16% between 2004 and 2005. The reason for increased freight shipping volumes on this route was the acquisition of the Fleetwood to Larne service by one of UK’s main shipping lines. This acquisition added 259,200 freight units to the total volume shipped on this route in 2005.

Furthermore, the North Sea and Scandinavian markets experienced similar growth figures.

The Future of Freight Shipping

According to one of the main line’s directors the future looks bright for freight shipping in the UK. He claims that the continuing investment in new ships and the commitment to the development of its route infrastructure and network will help meet consumer needs moving forward.

He is quoted as saying,

“We are pleased with our performance in 2005, particularly on the Irish Sea. Our Republic of Ireland routes have performed well while our services into Northern Ireland have also demonstrated robust development in a tough market area, assisted by our first full year’s operation on the Fleetwood to Larne route which from day one has proven a very successful acquisition for us.

“In recent years we have invested around £60 million in our vessels in order to improve the quality onboard and create attractive onboard environments,” he added.

Areas for Concern for the Freight Shipping Industry

Despite this optimism, the rising price of oil is a concern for the entire freight shipping industry.

Freight shipping companies that want to compete effectively in the future will have to implement energy saving schemes and other measures to make up for the growing cost of fuel.